Dutch National Ballet | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Dutch National Ballet

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It's not as crazy as it seems that Amsterdam's largest ballet troupe is making its Chicago debut at a neighborhood theater: local choreographer Altin Naska, who's created work for the 45-year-old, 80-member company, is also the director of foreign exchange for Dance Chicago, based at the Athenaeum. Only seven Dutch National Ballet dancers are coming, but they make up in quality for what they lack in quantity, and their ranks will be augmented by performers from the Joffrey Ballet and River North Chicago Dance Company. For the first time here, two DNB dancers perform Naska's choreographically inventive duet Enchanted, premiered at Dance Chicago in 2003. Though the woman's on pointe, this is far from traditional ballet: she gets held upside down, boardlike, and almost stumbles forward encircled by the man's arms. Formally rewarding and psychologically rich, Enchanted is far from inaccessible. Naska has created a new quartet for this collaborative program, engineered by Dance Chicago artistic director John Schmitz, and the company presents a work from its repertoire, Wie Lange Noch. Lauri Stallings's piece is brand-new, and there are also dances by local stars Randy Duncan, Paul Christiano, Frank Chaves, and Gerald Arpino. Sat 8/5, 8 PM, and Sun 8/6, 3 PM, Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, 773-935-6860, $35, $10 children.

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